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Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK

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  • Kangasniemi, Mari
  • Winters, L. Alan
  • Commander, Simon

Abstract

The 'beneficial brain drain' hypothesis suggests that skilled migration can be good for a sending country because the incentives it creates for obtaining training increase that country's net supply of skilled labour. Necessary conditions for this hypothesis to work are that the possibility of migration significantly affects decisions to take medical training and that migrants are not strongly screened by the host country. We conducted a survey among overseas doctors in the UK in 2002, which suggested that neither condition is likely to be fulfilled. Apart from the 'beneficial brain drain' argument, the survey findings also cast light on the backgrounds and motives of migrant doctors, and finds evidence that there could, nonetheless, be other benefits to sending countries via routes like remittances and return migration.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 65 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 915-923

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:65:y:2007:i:5:p:915-923

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Keywords: UK Migration Brain drain International labour market Doctors;

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References

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  1. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," IZA Discussion Papers 819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  3. K. Hamada & J. N. Bhagwati, 1975. "Domestic Distortions, Imperfect Information and the Brain Drain," Working papers 161, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Jean-Pierre Vidal, 1998. "The effect of emigration on human capital formation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 589-600.
  5. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1998. "Human capital depletion, human capital formation, and migration: a blessing or a "curse"?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 363-367, September.
  6. Hamada, Koichi & Bhagwati, Jagdish, 1975. "Domestic distortions, imperfect information and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 265-279, September.
  7. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
  8. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1975. "Brain drain and economic growth : A dynamic model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 223-247, September.
  9. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
  10. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? A Survey of the Literature," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 235-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  12. A M Findlay & F L N Li & A J Jowett & M Brown & R Skeldon, 1994. "Doctors diagnose their destination: an analysis of the length of employment abroad for Hong Kong doctors," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(10), pages 1605-1624, October.
  13. Goldfarb, Robert & Havrylyshyn, Oli & Mangum, Stephen, 1984. "Can remittances compensate for manpower outflows : The case of Philippine physicians," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 1-17.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Okeke, Edward N., 2013. "Brain drain: Do economic conditions “push” doctors out of developing countries?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 169-178.
  2. Bhargava, Alok & Docquier, Frédéric & Moullan, Yasser, 2011. "Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 172-183, March.
  3. Docquier, Frédéric & Faye, Ousmane & Pestieau, Pierre, 2008. "Is migration a good substitute for education subsidies?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-276, June.
  4. Elisabetta Lodigiani, 2009. "Diaspora Externalities as a Cornerstone of the New Brain Drain Literature," CREA Discussion Paper Series 09-03, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  5. Rutten, Martine, 2008. "Medical migration : what can we learn from the UK's perspective ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4593, The World Bank.
  6. Yasser Moullan, 2009. "Can Health Foreign Assistance Break the Medical Brain Drain ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00399306, HAL.
  7. Di Maria, Corrado & Lazarova, Emiliya A., 2012. "Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 938-955.
  8. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Oden-Defoort, Cecily, 2011. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Brain Gain," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 523-532, April.
  9. Docquier, Frédéric, 2006. "Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Boncea Irina, 2013. "Medical Brain Drain - A Theoretical Approach," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 64-71, July.
  11. John E. Roemer & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2013. "Barefoot and Footloose Doctors: Optimal Resource Allocation in Developing Countries with Medical Migration," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1922, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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